I travel Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater often and I've noticed that the travel lanes have been rerouted to allow for what looks like flower boxes that have been painted by children. There are also a few spaces that push the travel lane to the center that have no boxes. Is this a permanent travel lane now? It seems to be an odd place to accommodate what amounts to window boxes without the windows, and it can surprise you at night.
We shared your note with Paul Bertels, Clearwater's traffic engineering manager, who told us that the flower boxes were installed as part of an initiative to create redevelopment ideas for that section of the Fort Harrison Avenue corridor. Bertels has asked the city's planning staff to remove the flower boxes, which should happen shortly. The change in the lane configuration, however, will remain for the time being while the city monitors how traffic flows with the new arrangement.
I would like to know why we have to see advertising on the benches that run along Oakhurst Road in Seminole? They probably are elsewhere in the county, but there is a cluster of them along Oakhurst Road that I happen to pass all the time. I think they are an eyesore advertising real estate agents and roofing companies, among other things. I certainly don't mind the benches, as they are there for those waiting for buses, but I think the mini-billboards cheapen the roadside in a primarily residential area. What can be done to register a complaint to the county and who receives the revenue generated from these eyesores?
The benches were donated by the Jaycees, but Pinellas County isn't involved and the only relation between the benches and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is that, as you noted, they are often placed near or at PSTA bus stops, says Cyndi Raskin-Schmitt, spokeswoman for PSTA.
The bench donation program is affiliated with the Metropolitan company, which partners with nonprofit and community-based organizations to provide public seating across Florida. In addition to placement near bus stops, benches are also placed in community parks, cemeteries, adjacent to sidewalks, bike paths, trails, etc. Sales and maintenance of the advertising that appears on the benches is solely managed by Metropolitan.
To learn more about the benches and contact someone about ads, visit www.metrobench.com.
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